12/16 - 1/2 Day for Students
Tilden Village Dinner
12/17 and 12/18 - 8th Grade to Christmas in the City
12/23 - 7th Grade to A Christmas Carol
12/24-1/1 - Vacation
1/1 - Happy New Year!
1/4 - School Resumes
Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
How to Raise an Adult Book Group Discussion (see details below)
1/12 - Grade 6 Chorus Concert
1/15 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Teachers
1/18 - MLK, Jr. Day - No School
Day of Service at Blake
2/5 and 2/6 - Blake Play
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about the role vulnerability plays in learning, our topic/question of the week is...
"...a person with nobility already values vulnerability"
"True nobility lies in being superior to your former self."
Do these two statements compare or contrast, work better together or apart?
Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: Vulnerability and Nobility (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Term 1 Report Cards
Last Friday students brought home their report cards for the first term. Time has been spent in advisory with students reflecting upon the work they accomplished, as well as setting healthy goals for the second term. If you have any questions about your child's work or the reports, please start by having a conversation with your own child. If questions still exist, you should contact the teacher directly to gain more insight.
Student Recognition and Achievement
This communication regarding a change in our practice of recognizing sixth grade students via an honor roll at Blake was sent to all sixth grade families last week. Keeping the social-emotional developmental needs of our students at the forefront, we have spent time over the last four years as a Blake community (students, staff, Site Council, and parents) discussing feedback, motivation, and appropriate methods to both recognize and honor student achievement at Blake. As our mission statement reads, it is our goal to both challenge and support all of our students, encouraging them to explore new opportunities for learning and growth: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world. As such, we have been examining and discussing the practices that we currently have in place, as well as taking time to explore other options to recognize our students in a healthy, appropriate, and productive manner. One key focus area of this discussion for our staff in conjunction with the Blake Site Council has been the role of an honor roll for our students. A few years ago we made the decision to stop publishing the Academic Recognition and Academic Distinction lists in the town newspaper. Our discussions have continued to examine whether the existence of an honor roll aligns with our mission. Taking the social-emotional and developmental needs of our students into account, our discussions and beliefs have led us to the conclusion that it is a practice that is not developmentally appropriate and is a practice/tradition that will be discontinued for our sixth grade students starting this year.
Recognizing our students for their academic accomplishments is indeed important, but we believe that the honor roll is not the appropriate system for academic recognition at this juncture in their development as learners. Reflection is one of our core values here at Blake, and we will continue to both examine and implement methods for recognizing our students throughout the year for all of their accomplishments. A key area of focus as a staff, Site Council, and community will be discussing the implications for future potential changes in our formal systems of recognition for seventh and eighth grade students as well. As always, I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
#MedfieldPS Twitter Chats
As a way to bring the five schools together (staff and administration), we have been trying out Twitter chats for #MedfieldPS on a monthly basis. The focus of these chats are pertinent topics in education, initiatives, and ideas to collaborate around and share. Our December chat took place last Wednesday, 12/9 and the topic of the chat was relevance. I encourage you to check out the Storify link of our chat...
I am also sharing links to other chats that have taken place this year...
(Back to School)
Hour of Code at Blake
Our 'Hour of Code' last Friday, 12/12 was a great success. We hope that it sparked or continued an interest for our students in this field as we recognize that the skill of coding is increasingly important for our students as we work to increase their problem-solving and analytical skills in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. I encourage everyone to check out the following links...
Hour of Code
Calling All Learners and Teachers for Hour of Code
What Most Schools Don't Teach
Coding in the Classroom: What is it and Why is it So Important?
Be sure to check out the latest edition of the Blake Ledger!
Christmas in the City Community Service
As you are well aware, one of the Blake Middle School initiatives this year continues to encourage students and staff to become more involved in public and community service. We will be putting our good wishes into action as we volunteer at the Boston Convention Center. The Christmas in the City campaign works to brighten the holidays for two thousand homeless children and relies upon volunteers. Our students have raised money to contribute gifts and will spend the day in a variety of activities including making centerpieces/ornaments, and decorating banners /bed sheets. Half of the 8th grade will be attending on Thursday December 17th and half the 8th grade will be attending on Friday December 18th. We will be leaving school promptly at 7:45 and returning in time for the afternoon buses. Contributions towards the cost of the buses are greatly appreciated - checks should be made out to Blake Middle School with Xmas in the City Transportation in the memo line.
Community Service Club Coat Drive
Our Community Service Club of Blake will be running its annual coat drive until the second week of January. Please locate the boxes outside the library and donate new or gently used winter coats. Child coats of all sizes are most welcomed but coats of all sizes are needed. Thank you and happy holidays.
Blake Middle School Sponsoring Blood Drive for American Red Cross
This year, during the MLK day of service Blake Middle School will extend its service to the community by holding its first American Red Cross blood drive. Students will form a committee where they will learn the importance of giving blood, and how they can help recruit those old enough to give blood. The MLK, Jr. Day of Service will take place on January 18th. Check out the Prezi below that is being shared with students in advisory...
Blood Drive Prezi
26 Days of Kindness
Thank you to everyone for their participation in the 26 Days of Kindness at Blake. Please continue to send Marissa Gumas (firstname.lastname@example.org) any pictures, videos, or feedback of/on your student's participation in the daily activities. A special thanks to Marissa for her leadership with this initiative.
Seasonal Reminder about Gift Giving for Students and Families
This is a reminder that as a school or in classrooms we will not be orchestrating 'Secret Santa' type activities for students in which gifts are being purchased and/or given. For a number of reasons, school is not the proper forum for the exchange of gifts, and we appreciate your understanding and support. During this holiday season we will continue to do our best to keep in mind the diverse faiths of our community and student body. The season/culture is certainly predominantly geared towards Christmas, and we all need to keep this in mind when creating activities for our students.
Reminder about Bus Notes
All students who would like to ride a different bus may do so for childcare purposes only and need permission from Central Offices. Students should bring a note from home that gives permission to ride another bus, along with the bus number. That note will be sent to Central Offices and approval is granted based on available space on the bus. It is best to have the notes dropped off before the school day starts so that we can get back to students promptly in case they need to make other arrangements. A back up plan is always good to have in case permission is not granted. If you have any questions, please contact Phyllis Montillo at Central Offices (email@example.com).
Student Supervision Reminders for Students and Families
We have noticed that some students are being dropped off early at Blake and I want to remind parents/guardians of the expectations and guidelines. The Blake office hours are 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., and these are the time parameters for students to be at school. Students who arrive before 7:30 a.m. will report to the gymnasium (sixth and seventh grade) or cafeteria (eighth grade). Supervision in these designated locations starts at 7:10 a.m., so students should not be dropped off prior to 7:10 a.m. unless they have a pre-arranged appointment with a teacher or are attending an announced extra help session. These extra-help sessions do not begin until 7 a.m., so students who are dropped off prior to that time should report to the main office. By the same token, students who are staying after school need to be with a teacher for extra help or in the library doing homework. They should be picked up promptly after their sessions are over, as they will not be supervised at that point. All students need to be picked up by 3:30 p.m. as that is the time that the Blake secretaries leave. We need to make sure that all students are safe and supervised at all times. Thank you for your understanding, help, and cooperation.
Lost and Found Items
The number of items in our Lost and Found has increased. Please remind students to come take a look, as there are a number of items that are unlabeled that have been collected. We will be clearing out the Lost and Found during the winter vacation.
Cradles to Crayons - 7th Grade
In January/February of 2016 our 7th grade will be running a clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons. Please set aside any clothing donations in advance. Thank you!
How to Raise an Adult - Book Discussion Group for Parents
Please join the Blake Site Council will be reading and discussing HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times...
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. We will be reading it throughout the year, taking time to discuss the ideas presented and have a common, shared experience. The discussions will take place at the end of each Site Council meeting (more information/details to come - our second book group meeting will be 4:30 p.m. on Monday, 1/4). All parents are invited to join us. If you are interested in joining the book discussions, please fill out this Google Form: How to Raise an Adult Blake Book Group
The breakdown for the readings is as follows...
- For 1/4 Meeting - Read Part II (Pages 77-139)
- For 2/1 Meeting - Read Chapters 12-17 (143-227)
- For 3/7 Meeting - Finish book (228-305)
Blake Science Fair
This is the first middle school science fair ever for Medfield. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in an extracurricular activity while having fun with friends. This project by high school junior Emma Twer was created to promote communication and speech skills for students. Being part of a science fair develops important attributes needed for the high school. Come show your creativity through science! Work sessions are available as a lead up to the fair on February 26.
Work Sessions: 2:30- 3:30 on January 6, January 13, January 20, February 3
Fair: February 26 from 3:30- 5:30
K-8 PTO News
NEXT BLAKE PTO MEETING
Please join us THIS Tuesday, December 15th @ 7:00 pm in the Blake LMC. We will be voting on two funding requests. The first funding request is from Eileen Hurley for a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 6th grade class in the amount of $1,160. The second funding request is from Travis Taliaferro for a classroom set of 25 trapezodial desks in the amount of $2,315. If you would like more information on these funding requests, please contact Martina Spitzer firstname.lastname@example.org
THANK YOU FUND
Stop searching for the perfect holiday gift for your teacher! Here is an easy way to thank your child’s teacher during the holiday season. Make a contribution to their THANK YOU FUND! Anyone may contribute a financial gift to any teacher’s THANK YOU FUND. The teacher can use these funds to purchase books, games, supplies and other things for their classroom as needed. This is a great way to give your child’s teacher a little extra something that will benefit both the teacher and the children in their class. This is particularly useful for “specials” teachers that do not receive classroom gifts. This is all you need to do to contribute to a teacher’s THANK YOU FUND:
Write a check payable to BLAKE PTO with a note in the memo line designating which teacher’s fund you are contributing to
Send the check to school in an envelope with your child and include Erika Clarke’s name on the envelope
You can also mail the check directly to Erika Clarke at 10 Knollwood Rd.
You will be given a note that your child can give to their teacher letting them know you contributed to their fund or a note can be sent on your behalf
Please contact Blake PTO Treasurer, Erika Clarke email@example.com with questions.
Feel like giving to your favorite PTO? Does your employer match charitable donations? If so, please contact Stephanie Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to make your generosity during this season twice as nice!
MEDFIELD SPIRIT WEAR – AMAZING HOLIDAY GIFTS!
Buy something you know your kids will love! Avoid the holiday rush and do your shopping on-line! Customize EVERYTHING from text to colors and designs from sports to drama to music. Choose from t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, bags, hats, blankets & more. Spend $85 or more and get a free customized t-shirt. 12% of proceeds from each order will go to your school’s PTO. This is all you have to do:
Go to shop.mylocker.net
Enter your school locker number - BLAKE BD979
Use promo code b2g6dTK1 to receive $10 off every order you place
NOTE: Due to different branding sizes, make sure to check all size charts when ordering to ensure you get a great fit for each product. Use MyLocker to create apparel for your teams, clubs, service groups, and more. The possibilities are endless! Please contact Laura ZaherSPIRITWEARMEDFIELD@gmail.com with any questions.
OPEN VOLUNTEER POSITION
Eversource Co-Chair to shadow the current Chair for the light bulb fundraiser. This fundraiser coincides with Earth Day and will run during the spring. Please contact Maura Gerardi email@example.com if you are interested.
BAY STATE TEXTILES
Thank you, MEDFIELD! Bay State Textiles announced that Medfield has the highest pounds/box average of all towns participating in this fundraiser!!! As you make room for new holiday gifts and clean out old clothing, shoes, household linens and stuffed animals, please recycle these items at one of the Bay State Textile boxes at your school or the Transfer Station. Recycle and help the schools!!
Please cut out your Box Tops and have your child bring them to the Blake office or their advisory. Visit http://www.boxtops4education.com/coupons for coupons on participating Box Tops products!
ZEBRA’S FLATBREAD FRIDAYS FUNDRAISER
No need to cook on a Friday night after a crazy week! Enjoy a delicious flatbread from Zebra’s and support the Medfield Public Schools at the same time. 10% of the proceeds from flatbreads sold via take-out or in the restaurant on Friday evenings will be donated to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) and Medfield K-8 PTO. Please contact Kim Price firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Please like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO , follow us on Twitter @MedfieldK8PTO and check out our website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com
Are you looking for a way to let your child's teacher, a school staff member, a coach, a bus driver or an administrator know just how much you and your child appreciate them? Consider MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program. It is an easy and thoughtful way to recognize the efforts of a member of our school community during the holiday season. Each person recognized with a donation will receive a card, customized with a thank you note from you, indicating that a donation was made in his or her honor. To learn more, please click on: medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program/.
The MCPE Board is so thankful for the incredible support the Medfield community gives to the Coalition. So far this school year, MCPE has funded more than $60,000 in grants to teachers and administrators. As 2015 comes to a close, please consider making a year-end gift to the MCPE Annual Appeal and invest in your child's education. Help us continue our mission of funding grants that support academic enrichment programs not covered by the school budget.
To make a donation to the Annual Appeal please visit www.medfieldcoalition.org.
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.